TBILISI(BPI)- French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday stood by his controversial remarks that NATO is “brain dead,” saying that it was a useful wake-up call to alliance members.
Macron’s sharp criticism in early November has stirred debate in Washington and European capitals ahead of a December 4 NATO leaders’ summit in London.
Speaking alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Paris, Macron pressed for more unity and coordination within the alliance, and the need for Europe to take on more security responsibility.
The French leader is setting the tone ahead of a NATO summit next week. At issue are unresolved questions over peace in Europe, relations with Russia, Turkey and greater NATO involvement in the Sahel, Macron said.
Touching on relations with Russia, Macron urged the alliance to engage with President Vladimir Putin on a host of issues. He said this includes Europe being involved in a new pact limiting mid-range nuclear missiles held by the US and Russia, after the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty collapsed in August.
“We want a lucid, robust and demanding dialogue with Russia, with neither naivety nor complacency,” Macron said.
“An accord that would replace the INF… requires the involvement of Europeans,” he said. “It’s a question of the security of Europe.”